83rd Annual

Thursday, 13 February 2003: 4:45 PM
Surface Stress Balance in the Tropics
Matthias Munnich, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA; and D. Neelin
Wind stress anomalies in the equatorial central to western Pacific which arecrucial to the ocean-atmosphere feedbacks in El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) have received much attention. By angular momentum conservation, global surface stress must approximately balance on monthly or longer time scales so scales surface stress in one region is compensated elsewhere.In the climatology, much of the tropical stress balance is accomplished byexport of momentum to midlatitudes. Examining the ENSO stress balancein model and analysis data sets shows that this is not the case forENSO anomalies. The stress anomaly in the main ENSO regionis mainly balanced within a narrow equatorial band both to the east and west.Land regions play an important role in this balance. Tropical South Americastands out as the largest single countervailing stress region compensating onethrid of the ENSO region stress anomaly.

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